May 2016 archive

strawberry mint lime smoothies

This warm (hot) weather calls for strawberry mint lime smoothies, or margaritas. Let’s stay in Memorial Day mode a little longer :)

Refreshing strawberry mint lime smoothies

We’re back in action for a short work week after a long weekend. What a lovely sentence that is. I hope your Memorial Day weekend was filled with cookouts, warm weather, relaxation and thankfulness for those who have served for our country. We had a wonderful weekend with friends, family and good food. A garden party on Friday night, an intimate backyard cookout on Saturday night, a change in plans due to rain with an indoor cookout on Sunday night, and a delicious brunch on Monday filled our weekend, and we couldn’t be more thankful for all of those who surrounded us. I can’t say we really relaxed a whole lot with all of that going on, but it was amazing to have three days off to be able to spend time with so many people.

Refreshing strawberry mint lime smoothies

The sun is struggling to show it’s face around here, but we have gotten a few sunny days sprinkled into the dreary gray days and tropical storm weather. Those days that the sun has made an appearance have been blazing hot, and in true North Carolina fashion, extremely humid. Every time I come inside after spending time in the heat I reach for something cold, fresh and refreshing. Enter: strawberry mint lime smoothies.

Refreshing strawberry mint lime smoothies

Last weekend, Will and I stopped by our local farmers’ market and were so excited to see all of the strawberries and blueberries making their beautiful appearances. We used the fresh fruit as inspiration and threw some frozen berries we already had on hand in a blender when we got home. With a splash of lime juice, a handful of mint and sparkling lime water, or something a little stronger, we had a quick, easy, delicious treat for the hot and humid day.

Refreshing strawberry mint lime smoothies

The strawberries and blueberries look so festive together too. Can we extend Memorial Day weekend one more day and relax in the sun while we sip on these?

Refreshing strawberry mint lime smoothies

Strawberry Mint Lime Smoothies
makes about 2-3 drinks
2 cups frozen strawberries
3 tablespoons lime juice
½ cup sparkling lime flavored water, or tequila for a margarita
¼ cup agave syrup or honey
ice (I used about 2 cups)
fresh strawberries, blueberries and mint for garnish

Pour all of the ingredients into the blender and blend until smooth. If your mixture is too thin, add additional ice until you reach a consistency you like. I like mine the consistency of a thick smoothie, so I like to add more and more ice. You can store these in the freezer for a little bit while you prepare more, if necessary. This can also be doubled to make more in the same batch, if your blender can handle it.

Refreshing strawberry mint lime smoothies

red, white and blue outfits

Light a sparkler and get ready for some Memorial Day fun and some red, white and blue goodness! I’m so so excited about this post – mainly because I would love to have every one of these items in my closet. Pretty please? I didn’t realize until a few weeks ago, when I recently organized my closet after we moved, how much red, white and blue I have. I love the combination of blue and white, and often grab red items because they are so fun and vibrant, and go well with my blonde coloring. The stripes and gingham all around this season make me so happy too. My family jokes with me about constantly wearing stripes, and stripes take up a good chunk of my wardrobe, but hey, they are always in style. ;) I hold firm to my belief that you can never have too many stripes.

Now onto the clothes!

Red, White and Blue Outfits

Dresses: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4
Shoes: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4
Tops: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4
Shorts: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4
Bathing Suits: 1 top, bottom | 2 top, bottom | 3 | 4 | 5


I started to write about my favorite dress out of these, but I am really having trouble deciding. I love them all! They would be so cute for a Memorial Day brunch, or a big Fourth of July celebration. The silhouettes of each of these dresses are so beautiful. I love the flutter sleeves on the first two and shirtdresses are always flattering.


I didn’t put any rompers in the photo, but these were too cute not to include. That light blue eyelet one has a low back tied with a bow! The blue lace is gorgeous, and the gingham short sleeves would be the perfect picnic outfit.


There are so many cute wedges and sandals out right now. I love the gingham and pointed toe of these sling back flats, but the navy espadrilles would be so useful. And look at the cute tassels on the fun red ones! I didn’t notice that all of these are tie-up shoes until I started writing this – I guess they are in? Or maybe those are just the ones I like out of the summer shoes that are out now?


I mentioned I had a little stripe problem. These shirts are evidence of that. Whoops. The bows on the beautiful gingham top and the striped tank add a feminine touch and a unique element to these shirts (the gingham one is the back of the shirt, by the way). I just got the striped short sleeve popover and love it! It is so cute and perfectly loose and light for the summer! Needless to say, I have many a striped tee, but this red, white and blue striped one would cover all of your bases for any cookout you go to on these patriotic holidays.


Eyelet, scallops, stripes, and gingham – shorts are doing well right now. I love the different color options they provide too! The gingham shorts are high waisted, which makes them even more exciting! So cute!



For your holiday pool parties, these bathing suits fit the red, white, and blue color scheme, without feeling overly patriotic. Again with the stripes and gingham everywhere. Even with my love of both of those patterns, I think I actually like the solid red one-piece best! That sash is so lovely!

What do you have planned for Memorial Day weekend? Brunch? Cookout? Pool? All of the above?

almond cake with almond whipped cream icing

Sometimes Mondays need a little cake. An easy, Sunday night cake that you can eat as a snack on Monday is the best option. Maybe an easy almond cake with fluffy almond whipped cream icing?

almond cake with almond whipped cream icing|

Hot milk cake was our go-to bundt cake growing up. Whenever my mom would make this cake for a dinner get-together, my siblings and I would sneak slices the next morning before our parents came downstairs.  The dense but still light pound cake is delicious for a breakfast treat, an afternoon snack, and a dessert, especially when topped with a dollop of whipped cream and fresh berries. Made with warm milk, it differs from the typical pound cake but has the best texture and sweetness.  Here, our trusty hot milk cake gets a little facelift.

almond cake with almond whipped cream icing|

almond cake with almond whipped cream icing|

We replace the vanilla extract with almond extract and swap out the bundt pan for small round cake pans (though you could still make it in a bundt). Instead of adding a dollop of whipped cream to each slice, we turn the easygoing, no-nonsense cake into a casual layer cake by frosting the entire thing with almond whipped cream – the perfect ratio of cake to whip. Dense, slightly sweet, lovely cake layers meet fluffy, pale, almond whipped cream and it is like a cloud in your mouth. Top it with the last citrus of the season, or pile those fresh berries high to impress your guests (or yourself). Easy, breezy, beautiful almond cake.

almond cake with almond whipped cream icing|

Dense and fluffy all at the same time – how does it do that?  Almond cake for breakfast please?

Almond Cake with Almond Whipped Cream Icing

Almond Hot Milk Cake
½ cup butter
1 cup milk
4 eggs
2 cups sugar
1 teaspoon almond extract
2 cups flour
½ teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking powder

In a small saucepan over medium heat, combine the butter and the milk, heating until just simmering. Do not allow the mixture to boil.

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F and grease and flour 2-3 round cake pans (8” or 6”) or one bundt pan.

In the bowl of an electric mixer, lightly beat the eggs. With the mixer on, gradually add the sugar and beat until smooth. Add the almond extract and mix. Add the flour and salt to the egg mixture and beat until smooth. Gradually add the milk and butter to the egg and flour mixture and mix until combined. Add the baking powder and mix again.

Pour the mixture into your prepared pans. I often use a bundt pan for this cake, but made three 6-inch rounds for these photos.

Bake for 1 hour. A toothpick should come out clean when inserted into the cake. Allow the cake to cool for 10 minutes before transferring it from the pan to a cooling rack.

Almond Whipped Cream Icing
1 ½ cups whipping cream
½ cup powdered sugar
1 teaspoon almond extract

In the bowl of an electric mixer, with the whisk attachment, whip the whipping cream until it has soft peaks when you raise the beater. Gradually beat in the powdered sugar and almond extract, and continue whipping until it creates stiff peaks.

Frost the completely cooled cake with the whipped cream.

Cake adapted from Virginia Hospitality community cookbook

link love

Happy weekending and happy link love!

link love 5.20.2016


via Pinterest

What will we do this weekend, in these two sacred days of free time?  Drink delicious drinks and eat tasty food?  I hope so.  Relax with a cup of tea or coffee and have some productive project time?  That too.  The weather has been absolutely dreary all week here, and it is supposed to continue to rain throughout the weekend.  At least that will make it the perfect time for the aforementioned relaxation with a hot drink in hand.  Cheers to making the most of a rainy weekend after a rainy week.

This is old news now, but we’re going to talk about it nevertheless.  Instagram.  Why did you allow Lisa Frank to throw up on your logo? I understand that you want to modernize, but was that the best you could do? Don’t get me wrong, you’re still my favorite, but try a little harder next time?

Let’s talk about another one of my favorites: Trader Joe’s.  TJ’s is a magical place, filled with wonderous foods.  These might be the most underrated items, and these might have been the best sellers last year, but I still don’t spot some of my favorites on those lists.  I was skeptical about the peanut butter cups, mainly because I doubted their pb to chocolate ratio (which is crucial in a good chocolate covered peanut butter cup), and while I will always take dark chocolate over milk chocolate, the milk chocolate ones were actually better (and really delicious).  Also they are absolutely right that the spiked cider is delicious.  I’m embarrassed to admit that the only item I have tried on the “secret hits” list is the $3 Chuck.  The frozen vanilla greek yogurt and the chocolate covered chocolate chip dunkers look very worth the trip.  If you really want something delicious, try the dark chocolate covered almonds with sea salt and turbinado sugar.  They are basically angel turds.

Moving along, I recently talked to a few mothers of elementary school-aged kids, who said that their kids don’t enjoy going to school anymore because there is so much rigorous work, and very little creative time to play.  Right after I talked with them, I saw this article about the importance of children learning through movement.  Teach them well, but let kids be kids, where is the line? 

Happy 100th birthyear to New York City zoning code.  You’ve evolved a lot over the past 100 years, and many of the buildings within your reign can’t keep up with your changes. 40 percent of them, to be exact. Just in Manhattan, 2 out of every 5 buildings don’t comply with current zoning.  Too much residential, too much commercial, not enough parking, too tall, ectera, ectera.  If the entire city was rebuilt to conform to today’s zoning code, it would have shorter buildings, less dense, more sidewalk area (buildings further back from the streets).  Some of the neighborhoods that couldn’t be built today are beautiful and architectural; buildings that enhance and improve the city.  So, what is to happen in the years to come, zoning code?  We’ll see. 

Speaking of buildings in New York City, want to take a guess at how much some of the tv show apartments and homes would actually cost to rent?  Carrie Bradshaw’s with her giant walk-in closet?  Rachel and Monica in West Village?  Will and Grace’s exorbitant two bed/two bath in Upper West Side? It hurts my bank account to even look at it.

Have a wonderful weekend, friends!  I hope the weather where you are is better than it is here, but if not, we can sip our tea inside together.  Enjoy!

waffled sweet potato hash browns with smoked gouda pimento cheese

What do you get when you combine southern, North Carolina roots with fond memories of a study abroad semester in the Netherlands?  Waffled sweet potato hash browns with smoked Gouda pimento cheese, of course.  If you didn’t have brunch plans before, you might want to reconsider.

These waffled sweet potato hash browns with smoked Gouda pimento cheese are a great addition to your next brunch menu! |

I have mentioned before that North Carolina is the number one sweet potato producer in the U.S., a fact I am proud of even though I have nothing to do with any part of sweet potato production. This isn’t the first time we’ve made a breakfast food out of sweet potatoes around here. Sweet potato hash browns are a much more delicious take on regular ol’ white potato hash browns, and what kind of food isn’t more fun when waffled?

These waffled sweet potato hash browns with smoked Gouda pimento cheese are a great addition to your next brunch menu! |

While the waffled sweet potato hash browns are delicious on their own, or when topped with a runny sunny-side up egg, the smoked gouda pimento cheese is really what steals the spotlight. We made a huge recipe and topped our biscuits, put it in our eggs, dipped veggies and crackers in it, and ate it with these waffled hash browns. It was absurdly delicious every time. Make a tub of it – you won’t regret it. Soooooo good. Also, aside from all of the grating (which can be sped along if you are lucky enough to have a grater attachment on your food processor), these recipes are both so so easy. If you can grate and mix, you can make waffled sweet potato hash browns and smoked Gouda pimento cheese. It really seems too simple, but sometimes those are the best kinds of recipes.

These waffled sweet potato hash browns with smoked Gouda pimento cheese are a great addition to your next brunch menu! |

When I studied abroad in the Netherlands, I noticed that the cheese sections of the grocery stores had a lot of the same kind of cheese, just in different ages. The cheese usually didn’t have a name, it was just “kaas,” preceded by its age (young, semi-mature, mature, old, etc). It took me a while to realize that every cheese labeled this way was Gouda. Sidenote: I also quickly learned that the Dutch pronunciation of Gouda sounds nothing like the English pronunciation. The Dutch pronounce “g” as a guttural, “h” sound, making what we would say as “goo-da” into “how-da” (as in how-da heck do you pronounce this cheese?). Surprisingly, with all of the Gouda on the cheese shelves, there wasn’t much in the way of the smoked variety. Even after living in the Netherlands with Gouda everywhere, I still hold that the smoked variations will always be the best and I don’t know if I will ever make pimento cheese without smoked Gouda. To. Die. For.  Seriously the best pimento cheese I have ever had.

These waffled sweet potato hash browns with smoked Gouda pimento cheese are a great addition to your next brunch menu! |

We use three cheeses in this pimento cheese – smoked Gouda provides the most flavor of the three, parmesan gives it a bit of saltiness, and sharp cheddar fills in the gaps and brings some of the familiar pimento cheese flavor back to the table. Pimento might be a misnomer, because we use roasted red peppers in their place here, but I have no qualms about it. All in the name of flavor.

These waffled sweet potato hash browns with smoked Gouda pimento cheese are a great addition to your next brunch menu! |

Scoop a generous dollop onto your waffled sweet potato hash browns, cover the whole thing with an egg, and your perfect brunch is served.

Waffled Sweet Potato Hash Browns
Makes 5-6 small waffled hash browns

1-2 large sweet potatoes (almost 6 cups shredded)
1 medium yellow onion, grated
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp sea salt
1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
2 eggs, lightly beaten

Squeeze out the sweet potatoes to get rid of some of the moisture (you don’t have to get rid of all of the liquid, just reduce the amount). Mix all of the ingredients together in a large bowl.

Preheat waffle iron to medium-high and grease both sides of the iron well. Place a scoop of the sweet potato mixture in the center of the waffle iron and close the lid. Peak at the color a few times while the hash brown cooks and remove after about 5 minutes, depending on your waffle iron. Serve with eggs and smoked gouda pimento cheese. Makes about 5-6 small waffled hash browns. If you want to try to make these crispier, reduce the number of eggs.

Smoked Gouda Pimento Cheese
Makes 4 cups (this is a lot of pimento cheese)

1 cup (4 ounces) grated Cheddar cheese
1 1/2 cups (6 ounces) grated Parmesan cheese
1 1/2 cups (6 ounces) grated smoked Gouda cheese
2 roasted red bell peppers, peeled cored, seeded and chopped (we get the jars at Trader Joe’s)
1 cup mayonnaise
1/2 jalapeno, seeded and minced
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
1 tablespoon honey
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

In a large bowl, combine all of the cheeses and the roasted red peppers.

In a separate medium bowl, mix together the mayonnaise, jalapeno, vinegar, honey, salt, and pepper. Stir to blend well.

Stir the mayonnaise mixture into the cheese mixture and stir to fully combine. Refrigerate until you are ready to use it.

link love

Happy Friday, friends!  I’m so excited to not have to go into work this weekend :)  This seems like a trend, but I think we’re moving away from it, so yay for May!

link love 5.13.2016

via Pinterest

The internet was good to us this week, and so our link love is chock full of links.  There are some short novels coming up, don’t be afraid.

This article really could have come out a few weeks sooner.  Not that it would have been helpful, because I didn’t have time for any of that cleaning and sorting the weeks leading up to our move.  We were lucky to have things packed by the time we did. But, since summer is full of moves for many people, maybe these tips will come in handy for you before your moving day.

I am terrified that Donald Trump has made it as far as he has in the political system.  Terrified.  When he first announced his candidacy I thought it was a joke, that America was being punk’d.  When do we get the reveal?  Please? Donald Trump recently accused Hillary Clinton of playing the “woman’s card.” In accusing women of having some unearned advantage, I see you took a good look at senate, with the historic record of women holding 20 out of 100 seats, and the presidency, which has never been held by a woman, as well as the great $0.79 women earn for every dollar a man earns, Mr. Trump.  I would like to point out that you had to pull in your wife, a woman, to take care of your damage control.  Rant over.

While we are on the subject of women in the workforce, Google presented a proposal to Unicode this week to introduce new female career-based emojis. What, you mean bunny eared twins, salsa dancer, bride and queen aren’t enough options for you? Talk about a career path. You go, Google.

One of my favorite summer babysitters started a blog recently and she is HILARIOUS.  I was catching up on her posts on my bus ride home and was struggling so hard not to burst out laughing in the midst of all the strangers around me. No one likes that person.  One of my favorites of her posts is the post titled, “Would You Rather: Slide Down a Razor Blade into a Pool of Rubbing Alcohol… or Open a Door While Pushing a Stroller?” I don’t have experience pushing a stroller but I often have to push large carts around when we are getting ready for events at work and oh my gosh, I feel the pain of every mother trying to push a stroller through the door.  PEOPLE, YOU SEE ME STRUGGLIN’, HELP A SISTA OUT!

I have constant wanderlust and am always on the lookout for more places, domestic and abroad, to add to my travel list.  Conde Nast is tugging at my traveling heartstrings with their articles on where to travel in June.  I can’t tell you how many times I looked through their galleries of the 50 most beautiful cities in the world and the 50 most beautiful places in the world.  They make me want to go all over the world!  I was excited that I have already been to 12 places on the most beautiful cities in the world list (New York, NY; London, England; Paris, France; Amsterdam, The Netherlands; Florence, Italy; San Francisco, CA; Rome, Italy; Bruges, Belgium; Prague, Czech Republic; Edinburgh, Scotland; Charleston, SC; Washington, DC) and many more beautiful cities not mentioned.  I have been so lucky to have so many opportunities to travel; each place opens my eyes to the new cultures and lifestyles that are so different from my own and so interesting.  Looking at these photos (and the links included) take me back to my study abroad days, which I now miss so much!  Also, I was funnier back then, what happened?!

Happy weekending friends!  I hope it is full of warm weather, blooms, relaxation and productivity.  Unless you don’t want to be productive, then I take that back.

goals for may and summer

Sometimes life can feel overwhelming. Sometimes it isn’t quite overwhelming, but still whelming. We have had a lot going on in our lives recently, at home and at work, and my routines have shifted or dissolved. I am a big list maker and sometimes just the act of making a list helps me feel more at ease and less stressed about what I need to be doing and what is upcoming.   Since this spring has been such a busy season for us, work at home and work in my job sometimes take over time that I might otherwise be able to spend with friends, family or just having me-time. I’m starting fresh with some goals for the week, month and season ahead, to help get me back to some routine and add fun things to my schedule. Let’s see how it goes!

May Goals

These beautiful peonies are from our local farmers’ market!

Goals for the week:
Post a recipe!
Make and photograph recipes for PTC
Incorporate push-ups or dumbbells into some part of my day

May goals:
Unpack (halleluiah, amen!) – not everything will have a place yet, which is okay, it just needs to be out of the boxes!
Go strawberry picking!
Get into an evening routine, including time for blogging again
Plant our plants in their pots (instead of leaving them to die in the plastic bins they came in)
Make practice cakes as dry runs for a wedding this summer
Get some blog posts ready to go
Get glass or acrylic cups/jars for the bathroom
Take it slow on memorial day

Goals for the end of spring/beginning of summer:
Plant an herb garden
Build raised garden
Make a plan for building a headboard
Make a meal plan for the week and stick to it (we haven’t been good at this during our move and unpacking period)
Try a new dinner or appetizer recipe
Find art I like for the living area
Do something to encourage a friend
Take more walks
Go to the farmers’ market and the flea market
Start reading a new book
Make time for friend dates
Have fun with friends and family at weddings!
Explore our area

Do you have any fun goals for the month or the upcoming season?  Spill!

spring cookbooks

I am so excited about the new cookbooks that have come out in the past few months!  Stick me in a bookstore and I will read a cookbook cover to cover, tapping your arm to look at the great recipes and photos every few pages.  I have a growing collection of cookbooks, and am overly happy for it to continue growing, especially when there are books like these!  This collection has a great combination of sweet and savory books, and healthy and indulgent books.

Spring Cookbooks

Layered – I’m so excited about this blog turned cookbook!  Layered is all about, can you guess?  Layer cakes!  This cookbook just came out a few weeks ago and the sneak peaks and recipes people have already made look amazing!  Layer cakes can be tricky and a little daunting, but this book is filled with amazing flavor combinations and beautiful photos that look too good not to try.   I mean, how can you resist flavors like riesling rhubarb and salted caramel london fog?  I can’t wait to look through this book!

Sweeter off the Vine – With spring in full force and summer just around the corner, I am already trying to soak up all of the fresh fruits that I can.  Strawberry gallette?  Raspberry sorbet?  Rhubarb cake?  Yes, yes and yes, please.  Sweeter Off the Vine is filled with treats for all seasons, all based on seasonal fruits.  Surprise, it’s also by a well-known blogger whose recipes have been featured all around the internet and in magazines such as Bon Appetit and Good Housekeeping.

Love and Lemons – I have heard nothing but great things about this new cookbook.  Based on the award-winning blog of the same name, Love and Lemons is full of delicious, healthy recipes for easy, impromptu meals.  All of the photos I have seen look so crisp and fresh – perfect for the spring and summer fruit and veggies that are coming!  I’d love to have this one in my cookbook library for those nights when you aren’t sure what to make for dinner.

The New Sugar and Spice – Authored James Beard nominee, and former food editor in the test kitchens of Good Housekeeping, Fine Cooking, and Martha Stewart’s Everyday Food, Samantha Seneviratne, this cookbook offers a unique twist on typical baked goods.  To continue the food blogger theme, Samantha blogs about dessert at “Love, Cake”, but her recipes in this cookbook were inspired by her Sri Lankan background and the spices and flavors from her family trips there. 

Southern Living Community Cookbook – I just got this cookbook for my birthday and am already looking forward to sitting down and sifting through it to find the recipes I want to make right away.  One of my favorite classes in college was a course called Food in American Culture, where we studied all kinds of foodways, how food is farmed in the US, food as it related to the separate cultures in America historically, and some fun atypical units like “barbecue in the US,” which is a whole other debate in and of itself.  One of the units we studied was community cookbooks.  Community cookbooks aren’t as common now as they used to be, but I still think it is an interesting concept.  While the model doesn’t necessarily create a cohesive cookbook of similar cooking styles, these cookbooks bring together the best recipes from everyone in the community.  You only get a few submissions, and your name is attached to them, so they better be good – at least that’s the thought.  The Southern Living Community Cookbook was written and tested by southern chef Sheri Castle, but the recipes come from over 50 years of Southern Living reader recipe submissions, southern chefs, and famous community cookbooks.  But, unlike the community cookbooks of yore, this one is woven together with a strict recipe tester and a cohesive voice.  What to make first? 

Little Flower Baking Company – I love love love little cafes and bakeries.  I always try to fit one into all of my trips.  This cookbook comes from the California cafe and candy kitchen, Little Flower Candy Company, and is filled with gorgeous photos of all varieties of baked treats.  The former pastry chef author delivers impressive recipes to home cooks in this beautiful cookbook.

Minimalist Baker’s Everyday Cooking – This one comes out next week and is, again, authored by a blogger (I’m sensing a theme here).  Like the blog, Minimalist Baker’s Everyday Cookbook focuses on recipes that use either 10 ingredients or less, 1 bowl or pot, or 30 minutes or less to prepare.  It is filled with recipes that are easy, simple, healthy and delicious.  This is another one I would love to have on hand for some impromptu nights with no dinner plans (or days with no brunch or dessert plans for that matter).

Chickpea Flour Does it All – This cookbook came out early in this month, and since it’s debut, I have seen tons of delicious-looking recipes on many popular food blogs.  The blogger from Dolly + Oatmeal filled this cookbook with sweet and savory recipes for every diet.  From breakfast to dessert and everything in between, her recipes are flavorful and delicious, with the benefit of being healthy.  In so many of the recipes you would never know chickpea flour was an ingredient.  Here’s to flour power! ;)

Tasting Rome – Combine the talented forces of an expert in Italian food, culture and history with a well-regarded food and travel photographer and editor, and you have Tasting Rome, Fresh Flavors and Forgotten Recipes from an Ancient City. Written and photographed by two Americans as a love letter to the adopted city they call home, each recipe in this cookbook tells a story about the history, traditions, geography and cultures in Italy. Part travelogue and part recipe book, Tasting Rome is a beautiful collection of photos, Roman history and guides, and recipes that will make you want to hop on the next plane and take a Roman holiday.

link love

LInk love, link love, we’re back!  I was this close to having a post ready this week, and unpacking got in the way.  Next week!  Next week I will post it! For now though, we have some links to love :)

link love 5.6.2016

 via pinterest

Having just moved, this guide to a move-in box, and the morning after move-in box, are so great.  Clean sheets, garbage bags, pens, a notepad, light bulbs, a tool kit and cleaning supplies – all very necessary.

Beyonce came to NC this week.  I didn’t go, but I basically went via Snapchat.  Her new visual album, Lemonade, just came out and has gotten rave reviews already.  This is a cool map of where in New Orleans and Louisiana her Lemonade videos were filmed.

Also this week in entertainment:  the Met gala and all of it’s beautifully adorned attendees.  Who were your favorites?  Karolina Kurkova and Zoe Saldana were at the top of my list.

Will and I recently discussed the importance of being grateful in our current lives, no matter what, and then I came across this article on the same subject.  I can relate to so many of these anecdotes, which makes me wonder how I am doing on this scale of happiness over perfection.  I love the line, “if we’re always chasing what is next, we’re going to lose the chance to see so much beauty along the way.”  Note to self: let’s not miss the beauty.

On a similar note, as much as we suffer from our lack of contentment in our current situations, we also often suffer from professional envy.  As the article states, “envy is the death of learning.”   Why are these subjects so resonating and difficult?  Yikes.

And to end on a lighter note, I leave you with the most absurd teenage trend (or hopefully trend), promposals.  It lists a stat that the average American household with teenagers spent $324 on promposing.  Ridiculous!  What happens when the high schoolers ask each other to prom with a trip to Hawaii – do they then expect to be taken to an exotic foreign country to get engaged later in life?  Unreasonable, unnecessary and intriguing.

Happy Mother’s Day weekend!  Get some flowers and tell your mother you love her :)

on the move

I’m sorry for the radio silence over here.  With the busiest season at work and our move last week, I have neglected this space in efforts to keep myself afloat and functioning well in a few other areas of life.  My schedule last week went something like this:  work, work, work, work, pack, pack, sleep, repeat.  No time for cooking/baking, exercise or much sleeping. This week looks like it will be pretty similar with unpacking replacing packing and hopefully a slight bit more balance (hooray for balance!).  I have a recipe I hope to share soon, but until I get to it and get a bit more settled into our new place and dig through a few more boxes, please forgive me for the lack of a posting schedule.


^This little place was our first apartment after we got married, where this little blog started, and where we have both good and bad memories.  It was good for the season of life we were in, but it’s time to move along now.  On to bigger and better homes (and thank goodness for getting out of the floodplain – more on that later)!

Moving is a beast.  We moved from a tiny 550 square foot one apartment with minimal storage space to a two bedroom condo almost double the size, and somehow, I still feel like we have too much stuff for the space.  How did we fit all of that stuff in our little 550 square foot box?  I packed most of it and still have no idea where it all came from.  I think it multiplied in the boxes.  It must have.  I also didn’t realize how much more difficult a move from apartments is than a move from a dorm room.  When we moved into our previous apartment (the tiny box), Will and I had both just graduated college, and didn’t have a lot of stuff to begin with.  We had help moving some of the large items in, but we also moved our previous belongings and our wonderful wedding gifts in gradually after we got married, so we never really had a huge moving day.  At the time I didn’t have a job yet and Will had a month or so until school started, so we had nothing but time.  Now that I am working and Will is in the clinic, it is harder to find time to pack everything, move and now unpack everything, especially with one moving day.

Unpacking has turned out to be easier than packing, but there are still items that don’t have the perfect place to settle yet.  While we have already unpacked a lot of boxes in the time between Friday and Sunday, it still sometimes feels like we are traipsing through a maze of cardboard boxes, trying to find socks, or tupperwares, or light bulbs.  I don’t seem to know where it came from, and I certainly don’t know where all of it is now.  While life in front of the camera usually looks put together and beautiful, real life is looking busy and hectic.  I do try to stay put together in life behind the camera, while still running on minimal sleep and lots of caffeine – we’ll see how that looks by the end of the week ;)  I’m excited to get back to this blogosphere, but might need some slack along the way.  I hope to post some photos of our new place once we get more settled and decorated.  Right now, let’s just focus on finding everything. :)